WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) today spoke on the Senate floor in support of Sen. Jeff Session (R-Ala.) to be U.S. attorney general.
Remarks as prepared for delivery:
Mr. President, I have been fortunate enough to work with, and get to know Sen. Jeff Sessions over the past 20 years. Not only is he a colleague that I admire and respect, but he is also one of my very best friends.
As you know, Sen. Sessions has been nominated by our president to be the next attorney general of the United States. This is an incredible honor and there is no doubt in my mind that my friend will be perfect for the job. He is more than qualified for this position and I know he will keep his word when he says he plans to uphold the laws that we pass in Congress.
Sen. Sessions was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1997, not long after I came over from the House of Representatives. Twenty years we’ve known each other and worked alongside each other on both the Senate Armed Services Committee and the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Not only have we worked together, but we’ve traveled and prayed together. You can really get to know someone when you work, travel and pray with them. When working, a person’s mind is revealed. When traveling, a person’s character is revealed. When praying, a person’s heart is revealed.
I have come to know Sen. Sessions as a God-fearing family man who puts others before himself and has a deep respect for the rule of law. He helps those in need, and makes sure that the legal system is protecting our citizens and holding criminals accountable.
A person also only needs to look at legislation and causes he’s championed to know him. He played a key role in fighting for fairness in funding for rural HIV/AIDS patients when negotiating a reauthorization of the bipartisan Ryan White CARE Act.
His advocacy brought funding to low-income, mostly African-American women who did not have easily accessible health care before. Sen. Sessions has been an author and supporter of more than a few pieces of bipartisan legislation, including protecting victims of child abuse, reducing prison sentences for those who are unfairly targeted and helping the families of our fallen military personnel.
As a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. Sessions has become a fierce advocate for keeping our country safe from terrorism and understands the risks we face. In fact, Sen. Sessions is tough on crime and is well-suited to oversee federal law enforcement activities and assist local governments in their efforts.
After a 20-year period of falling crime rates, violent crime has seen a recent uptick nationwide. Furthermore, shooting deaths of police officers increased by 68 percent from 2015–2016. These trends are unacceptable and Sen. Sessions has pledged to reverse course by strengthening the partnership between federal and local law enforcement and going after drug traffickers, aliens who violate our laws and criminals who use guns to commit crimes.
There is no question that Sen. Sessions is qualified to do what he says he will and what the job asks of him. He has served as a U.S. attorney for Alabama’s Southern District and as Alabama’s attorney general, so he clearly knows the job, what the requirements are and how to run an agency. And it is because of his previous experiences that he will be able to transition from a partisan legislator to our nation’s top law enforcement officer with ease.
Countless groups of people have come out in support of his nomination; The Fraternal Order of Police, National Sheriffs Association, former U.S. attorneys, a former FBI director, current state attorneys general and many more.
I would like to take a minute to point out that it is cruel and unfair that people have tried to paint a picture of Sen. Sessions as someone and something he is not. I hate that this is something that needs to be said. The man the opposition has painted does not exist. You all know this man. You know that the awful things being said about him are completely false.
In fact, back in 1981, the Ku Klux Klan ordered the disturbing and extremely undeserved murder of a young African American man named Michael Donald. Because of Sen. Session’s help and support, these Klan members were convicted and given either life sentences or the death penalty.
Furthermore, he later played a major role in the destruction of the KKK in Alabama when he helped bring a civil suit against them. As a result the KKK went bankrupt, causing them to fall apart in that region.
Before we vote on the confirmation of our friend and colleague, I ask that you all take a moment to seriously reflect on how Sen. Sessions has worked diligently with you over the past two decades and how perfectly-qualified he is for this position.
As for me, I thank him for his tireless efforts in Congress, for his friendship and for his fellowship. I wish him luck in his new role as the U.S. attorney general.